This week in Young, Hungry and Committed, virtual office NYC attorney, Vivian Sobers talks about why she forces herself to network for tomorrow, even if she doesn’t have time today.
These days, it seems as though I am forcing myself to do things. Last week, I wrote about how I have to force myself to smile. This past Tuesday, I had to force myself to stay up all night working on a last minute OTSC. Even worse, I had to force myself to not lay down in the oasis that is my bed and force myself to get downtown for a 7 AM meeting.
Later that day, I had to force myself to get off the couch, put down the laptop and make it out to a 5:30 PM networking event.
Networking is most important when your client pipeline is full.Vivian Sobers: For me, networking events are like unbalanced equations. Click To Tweet
For me, networking events are like unbalanced equations. It is always a cost-benefit analysis that never seems to fully add up. I mean, let’s take my hourly rate of $350.00. A typical networking event would cost me $700.00 in billable time. For a small business owner, this a lot of money to leave on the table. Yet, we all force ourselves to go to networking events in the hope that a $700.00 time investment produces triple that in dividends.
It gets even harder to find time to network for new business when you feel you are drowning in the business and clients that you already have. For attorneys like us, forcing ourselves to network is hardest when our pipeline is full.
Yet, I have found that committing yourself to networking events is the most important when your pipeline is full.
Everything Ends, especially client representations.
As the tagline to the final season of Six Feet Under ominously foreshadowed: Everything ends.
That feeling of being pulled in 62 different directions, answering existing client phone calls at 10 PM, fielding initial client inquiries on Avvo when you can’t sleep at 2 AM, violently lurching at the alarm clock at 5:45 AM so that you can make it to court in Richmond County on time, scheduling 30 minutes for lunch in your calendar because you know you would forget to eat otherwise – all those feelings – they all end.
Every client representation has an inevitable conclusion. So what happens when all your matters wrap up around the same time? And we all know, this is how it happens. Matters never seem to settle or wrap up in nicely temporally spaced increments. They always end at the same time.
Networking is for tomorrow, not today.
This is why I force myself to network. Just because my client/case pipeline is full now does not mean that it will continue to be. In reality, having a full pipeline is the function of getting yourself out there to get the work. It is not a function of a passive process.
So, I forced myself to throw on a dress. Forced myself to take a bus across town to the East Side. Forced myself to create subtly witty banter. Forced myself to shake as many hands and kiss as many babies as possible.
Because while “today” may be insanely busy, “tomorrow” won’t be unless I force it to.
Vivian Sobers is a commercial litigator pursuing a solo law practice right out of law school. She is a client in Law Firm Suites’ Virtual Office Program. Vivian’s weekly blog series “Young, Hungry and Committed” documents the trials and tribulations of a young attorney navigating her way through the challenging world of self-employed legal practice.